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I Hope You’re Happy

November 5, 2008

Every newspaper today is filled with headlines regarding the presidential election results.  It’s a historic day, most of them say.

Our nation is facing new and unique challenges.  Although the country has already faced a Great Depression, we’re now facing a large recession/potential depression despite increased understanding of macroeconomics and market principles.  The questions “how did we get into this mess?” and more importantly, “how do we fix things?” have no definitive answers, and the policies and actions put in place in the coming months and years could easily save the nation or bury it further in financial distress.  Truly, Obama will be facing a historic situation in handling this financial crisis.

And of course, Obama’s decisions regarding how the nation will face issues such as the ongoing war on terror, the Social Security/Medicare crisis, education, and health care will likely have historic impact on the nation and the world.  Truly, it’s a historic day.

I was somewhat surprised to read these articles further and realize they mean the election of a black president makes this a historic day.  I guess that’s historic, when you consider how far we’ve come in just 150 years since slavery or even 50 years since segregation.

Having been born after segregation, where racism and even affirmative action didn’t really impact my life, I didn’t really consider the possibility of an Obama victory monumental in this regard.  I think, “that’s cool, but is it really a big deal?  Of course we’d vote for anyone regardless of race, religion, or gender who is qualified for the office of the President and prepared to represent the country well.”  I guess I’m truly color blind.

I wonder if the emphasis in these articles is indicative of the motivation behind the nations’ decision to elect Obama.  Yes, he’s well spoken and gives a great inspirational speech.  Yes, he has revolutionary plans for change.  But is he qualified to lead our country?  Is he adequately prepared and experienced to face, handle, and conquer the challenges ahead?  Are the changes he’s proposing really the changes we need?  Can he really do this job?

When the average voter went to the polls yesterday, did (s)he consider this?  Or was a vote cast over a trivial thing like skin color?

Truly, this isn’t a time we as a nation can afford to elect an inexperienced, unqualified or under qualified candidate in the name of making history.

To all those who cast their ballots yesterday, whether in hopes of making history or in hopes of the “change we need,” I conclude with these words:

I really hope you get it
And you don’t live to regret it
I hope you’re happy in the end
I hope you’re happy, my friend

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